ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The RIT Tigers (13-10-4) established an early lead with a goal just fifty five seconds into the game on the way to a 5-2 victory over the AIC Yellow Jackets (6-16-4). However, the game was closer than the score implied, as the Tigers only held a slim 3-2 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the contest.
“I thought it was a real hard fought game,” said AIC coach Gary Wright. “But then they got a couple of quick goals at the end that took the wind out of our sails. It hurts a little right now, but in a few days I think we will look back on this and see that we came in to a very tough barn and got a split.”
RIT got the ball rolling right from the opening faceoff, controlling the puck and setting up in the AIC zone. Stevan Matic battled behind the Yellow Jackets net and sprung free with the puck, then pushed it to Justin Hofstetter at the left point, who ripped a quick wrist shot into the top right corner of the net to give RIT the early 1-0 lead at :55 seconds.
“It certainly was a hard fought game and was two points that we needed,” said RIT coach Wayne Wilson. “It has been a tough four games. [AIC goaltender] Dan Ramirez is playing very well for AIC.”
AIC came back less than six minutes later to tie the game 1-1. Taking advantage of a failed clearing attempt, Greg Genovese got off a shot from just below the left faceoff dot. RIT goaltender Louis Menard made the save, but Andy Gevorkyan poked home the rebound at 6:25.
“It was very different from last night,” said Wright. “We did get in a little bit of a hole, but fought our way back and had some opportunities. RIT is a very good hockey team, and we knew that they were going to come out hard tonight.”
The Tigers continued to dominate play territorially, outshooting AIC 17-8 in the first period. The pressure paid off for RIT when Hofstetter got his second goal of the period at 16:27. Hofstetter slid a low wrist shot along the ice through a forest of skates and put it just inside the near post for the goal.
Special teams took center stage during the second period, as the teams each got a power-play goal. RIT scored first at 9:22 when Simon Lambert swatted in a rebound from just to the left of the crease.
AIC answered back late in the period to keep within reach. David Turco carried the puck to the net, took a shot, and Genovese was the first to the rebound and poked it in for the goal at 17:40.
The Yellow Jackets established a territorial advantage during the third period, taking the play to the Tigers as they tried to tie the game, but it was RIT scoring the insurance goal at 17:13 to extend its lead to 4-2.
Andrew Favot dug the puck out from behind the AIC net and slowly slid it out towards the slot. Simon Lambert won the footrace to the puck and poked it home for the goal.
The Tigers extended their lead at 19:02 when Matt Smith drilled a slap shot from the middle of the slot in to the net to score a power-play goal.